CSU Pueblo to offer cannabis degree

Monday, February 17, 2020

Nebraska State Patrol news releases about drug busts on Interstate 80 have become so common we’re tempted to start running them as a type of scoreboard.

On second thought, we’d only have the “points” scored by law enforcement, since we have no idea how many loads of marijuana, methamphetamine, THC vapes and other assorted illegal substances make it through the state unmolested.

There’s no question drugs like meth and fentanyl need to be taken off the street, but more and more are seeing marijuana as a separate issue.

We definitely don’t need more young people to be exposed to mind-altering substances, but is enforcing the marijuana ban worth the cost in law enforcement and prison time?

And, so goes the argument, is it worse than alcohol? And, what about those who find relief from pain or post-traumatic stress disorder by using marijuana?

A lot of that I-80 marijuana originates across the border in Colorado, where its recreational use is legal, making Nebraska’s ban harder to justify and enforce.

Don’t look for it to get any easier.

Now comes word that Colorado State University-Pueblo will offer a degree in pot.

Actually, the program, “Cannabis, Biology and Chemistry,” will be no easy course of study, similar to a double major in biology and chemistry, the school told the Denver Post.

It will focus on learning the science necessary to succeed in the cannabis field.

The school says it’s not pro- or anti-cannabis, but realizes the industry will continue to grow and wants to give students a chance to succeed.

CSU-Pueblo has competition in places like Northern Michigan University and Lake Superior State University, who offer similar programs, and the University of Washington which has a program that concentrates on pain relief.

Other colleges have single courses, and Canadian colleges have responded to legalization there in 2018.

Nebraska students who enroll in the Colorado college may not want to bring much homework home on spring break, although the school is not working with plants with high levels of THC.

Should Nebraska’s hemp industry grow as proponents hope, there is bound to be similar demand for such coursework in the Cornhusker state.

The production of another mind-altering substance, craft beer, has been one of the growth areas in the Nebraska economy, and the University of Nebraska has supported that industry.

We shouldn’t be surprised to see the same thing happen in Colorado.

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